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Le Pen, Trump, dark times

Written By: - Date published: 8:52 am, December 10th, 2015 - 73 comments
Categories: Europe, International, us politics - Tags: , ,

As the world meets in Paris, in desperate need of sanity and unity, the tides of political madness seem to be rising everywhere.

Take Europe – an excellent piece by Rafael Behr in The Guardian:

As Le Pen rises Europe’s liberal dream is disappearing in front of our eyes

When Jean-Marie Le Pen made it into the second round of the 2002 French presidential election, part of the horror many voters felt was in seeing, in stark light, a face of the nation that had previously been in shadow. “It means people we know voted for the Front National,” a shaken friend and supporter of the Socialist candidate, Lionel Jospin, told me at the time. …

The near certainty that Le Pen’s daughter will be a presidential contender for 2017 is shocking in a different way, landing with the banal thud of grim inevitability. Marine Le Pen saunters through French politics emanating the sharp smell of professionally laundered fascism. She has distanced herself and her party from the brutish style of her father, jettisoning explicit racism, colonising the political space where his extreme position shades into mainstream respectability. After a triumphant showing in the first round of regional elections last weekend, the Front National claims to be France’s main opposition party.

But France is not an exception. A long malaise in continental liberal democracy is beginning to feel more like decline. …

Read on for a discussion of several example countries, grim but fascinating.

And, of course, America:

Donald Trump is an actual fascist: What his surging popularity says about the GOP base

The word “fascist” has been abused by the left over the years. But a look at Trump’s rhetoric shows scary parallels

In the political discussion of today, there always comes a risk of being discounted as a crackpot when using a word like “fascist” to describe a political opponent. The word, much like “socialist,” has been so abused since the fall of fascism that it lost its meaning quite some time ago. …

In a recent article by Jeffrey Tucker, however, it is argued, quite justly in my opinion, that Donald Trump, whether he knows it or not, is a fascist (or is at least acting like one). Much like Mussolini and Hitler, Trump is a demagogue dedicated to riling up the people (particularly conservatives) with race baiting, traditionalism and strongman tough talk — and, according to polls, it’s working — for now.

That was written way back in July, since then Trump’s dominance of the polls has increased significantly, and his hate-speech against Muslims has become unhinged: Utterly repellent and malignant: world reacts to Trump’s anti-Muslim tirade.

These are dark times for sanity. In closing I want to go back to the first piece (Behr) quoted above:

No two countries have exactly analogous politics, but common threads run across Europe. The unifying dynamic appears to be the interaction of financial insecurity and the cultural detachment of governing elites from the governed. From Paris to Warsaw, politicians of the technocratic centre are perceived as a caste apart, professionally complacent, insulated by hoarded privilege from the anxiety provoked in electorates by economic turbulence and abrupt demographic change. On to that canvas is then projected the spectre of terrorism, smuggled into the body politic by refugees from predominantly Muslim countries.

What makes this resurgent nationalism so hard to defuse is the panache with which it sports the robes of popular democracy – as indeed nationalism has always done.

I’m not suggesting that NZ is there yet. But there are echoes.


trump-furor

(Philadelphia Daily News)

73 comments on “Le Pen, Trump, dark times”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    Trump may get the GOP nomination – that is in itself a tragedy. He has no show of winning a presidential election. On current polling.

    I expect Daesh (also fascists) – given their avowed commitment to chaos – can think of ways to try and increase his popularity.

    • RedLogix 1.1

      On the basis of current polling yes. But there is another long year before the USA votes and chaos will only strengthen Trump’s hand.

      And Clinton herself is a challenging figure. Yes she would be the first female US President and this would be an outcome to be proud of. But it also her Achilles Heel in a society disfigured by Christian fundamentalism, rent by internal gender and culture wars, and disillusioned with the political classes she so visibly represents.

      So while in the usual course of events you should be correct OAB … part of me cannot assign a non-zero probability to Trump becoming a new Caesar.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1

        Neither did I. I said he has no show on current polling, and that I expect Daesh are hoping to turn that around for him.

        • Ad 1.1.1.1

          It would only take a couple more non-European mass-death nut-jobs on US soil to really shove up his popularity and force the full GOP machinery behind him.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.1.1

            Perhaps, perhaps not – for one thing the US electorate must have some sort of maximum stupidity level – and Trump may have already scraped that barrel dry.

            • Ad 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Win or lose either the nomination or the Presidency, Trump has certainly permanently changed American politics. Goldwater didn’t even come close to this.

              There’s a set of unique dynamics that come in to play when one chooses the full populist route. See Elias Canetti’s Crowds and Power, which analysed not only the populist orchestration set running prior to World War Two, but also of the massed left and anti-war demonstrations into the 1950s.

              Trump only has a few of the skills needed to really drive oratory to where it would need to go, and his campaign machinery is small and independent compared to the full GOP capacity and its Superpac forces. Far too early to Godwin yet, and he’s only getting started. Plenty upside to go yet for him, and he knows it.

              Whereas Marie Le Pen’s crowd are different. They bring in not only the usual southern French crowd, and its huge retired military base, but also pull huge support from Parisian gays and other minorities who are seeking the party with the strongest resistance to threats to their very existence.

              • Grindlebottom

                I liked a description I read somewhere that Trump is basically a more experienced & media-savvy version of Sarah Palin. That his appeal is driven by simple answers to over-simplified questions, an insistence that all politicians are corrupt idiots, railing against political correctness, and the constant refrain that ordinary folks are getting screwed. Plus he’s not a politician, and he’s a celebrity, and in the US celebrity counts as ridiculously important with so many stupid people.

                While I hope he never gets elected President I agree it looks likely he’ll get the Republican nomination at the moment. Because he’s been roundly attacked by so many other politicians for his ban the muslims outbursts the next few polls are going to be particularly interesting to see whether that counts for or against him.

              • miravox

                “Whereas Marie Le Pen’s crowd are different. They bring in not only the usual southern French crowd…”

                I was in the South of France over the weekend. As expected, the security was tight – military at the airports, bag checks in public places etc., etc.

                But Monday morning, after the election results, it was a whole different ball game. Military actively patrolling lots of streets and lots private security (some dressed in military-like gear). It seemed there was a new game in town – a noticeable upping of security presence with no notice of an increased threat beyond that of the day before. Very disconcerting.

                • North

                  Oh Miravox you lucky bugger…..in the South of France. Where in Cavalaire-Sur-Mer 25 km from St Tropez I did a summer season OE job in a domestic French camping ground. 35 years ago. Wonderful memories !

                  • miravox

                    Yes, very lucky indeed. We had a great weekend. But just to make you feel better about it – it rained. A lot.

                    Cavalaire-Sur-Mer looks good – a great costal walk there too. Maybe next time we’ll have a look at that.

      • One Two 1.1.2

        Hillary as president would be nothing to be proud of. She is a disgraceful human being

        This mentality that people should feel content at achieving a ‘first’ no matter the circumstances, is purile leftist nonsense

  2. RedLogix 2

    In both the American and French cases, the rise of the populist fascist is the direct result of the political classes isolation from ordinary people and their concerns.

    The right is entirely the tool of a tiny uber-wealthy minority; the left fractured into a menagerie of competing interests much of the electorate either does not identify with or is suspicious of.

    The extreme polarisation of the political debate has paralysed and degraded the political process – such that most people are utterly disengaged from it. But this is not the same as unaffected by it – and while the mass of voters remain apathetic the paralysis can be sustained.

    But now the mass of voters sense imminent change, and they are no longer of a habit nor mood to listen to conventional voices. Now is the moment of the populist demagogue. It actually matters little whether they articulate left or right wing policy; their power is derived directly from their repudiation of the status quo, and promises of restoration.

    • ropata 2.1

      Trump is just a symptom of the slow implosion of the GOP. There’s been a popular backlash to Trump across the UK

      “He’s portraying a stupefying ignorance that makes him unfit to be President.” @MayorofLondon on @realDonaldTrump https://t.co/fQlPLRFcgv— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) December 9, 2015

      http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/dec/08/donald-trump-anti-muslim-ban-world-reacts

      http://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/london-life/trumpfacts-britons-react-hilariously-on-twitter-to-donald-trump-s-radicalised-london-comments-a3133686.html

    • Ad 2.2

      Curious then the many countries that extremism hasn’t caught on.

      Canada, UK, Australia – even Greece. They have had plenty of multicultural pressure over the last few decades, but the far right have got essentially nowhere.

      It’s not enough to say that the left is splintering and inchoate, and the right have all the money, therefore the moneyed demagogues are always going to win.

      I don’t think the reasons for the rise of Trump and Le Pen are the same.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1

        Well put. I note Canada just rejected a wingnut loon.

      • RedLogix 2.2.2

        I suspect both of you are mis-reading my contention. It is not the rise of right-wing extremism which is the essential feature here. It is the rapidly opening door which has been folded inside a largely silent and hidden majority opening to embrace a populist demagogues such as Trump.

        Will this happen everywhere at the same time? No. But we do often see it happen in the fading days of once powerful imperial nations.

        • Ad 2.2.2.1

          I just don’t see Trump as any signal of US weakness of decline.

          Win or lose, Trump will certainly shunt US foreign relations permanently rightward again, further than the Bush II Presidency. When Trump wins the nomination, I would anticipate a GOP Congress and House to signal that foreign wars are simply unaffordable. Same signal to Clinton.

          But under either Clinton or Trump as President, I think the US military will double down on airpower, missiles, tech-attacks, sabotage, drones and naval deployment. Their militarized empire will shrink, but only by ‘boots on the ground’.

          I also see ISIS, trade agreements, and climate change providing steadily growing motives for international cooperation. Call me odd, but the UN may well be the big winner out of all of them.

          • RedLogix 2.2.2.1.1

            I also see ISIS, trade agreements, and climate change providing steadily growing motives for international cooperation. Call me odd, but the UN may well be the big winner out of all of them.

            I understand this. There is always more than one process at work at a time. What may be visible on the surface, may well have a counter-current under it.

            But whether or not it is Trump, or Le Pen who attain power, is less important that the fact they are rapidly demolishing layers of taboos Western politics has largely observed about populist fascism since WW2.

            • greywarshark 2.2.2.1.1.1

              Slavoj Zizek turns over the received wisdom about PC’ness. He says thatby not speaking or seeing what is reality to you and what you think, is a different form of totalatarianism. The English text is shown, and if the image is distracting, you can listen and work on another link at the same time.

              He gives an example to the situation where if your boss is very nice to you and friendly the power difference between you becomes more impenetrable.

              He seems to be saying that the taboos that have been accepted have not smothered the differences between people, but they remain hidden widely unnoticed but ready to flourish again.

              Tom Lehrer handles it in National Brotherhood Week. In his own inimitable style. He points out past religious conflicts, the Protestants hated the Catholics and showed vice in versa, the Hindus v the Muslims, and everyone hated the Jews (his religion.)

              Then having a go at the Catholics – the Vatican Rag

              Now you can’t criticise anyone without having the virtual ruler put over your knuckles. And the old problems rise again, like vampires that can never be vanquished without sunlight shining on them.

            • Ad 2.2.2.1.1.2

              True. It will almost certainly re-align activist forces, including within the left.

      • Pat 2.2.3

        extremism didn’t “catch on” in all countries in the20/30s either….didnt prevent it from causing the odd problem or two

    • Pat 2.3

      much like the inter war period of the last century…..similar result?

  3. Olwyn 3

    Chris Hedges, while concentrating on the US, is thinking along similar lines:

    We have entered a new and dangerous phase in American political life. The ruling political elites have been exposed as charlatans. The rage of the underclass, especially the white underclass, has broken its bonds. The age of the demagogues has arrived. http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_age_of_the_demagogues_20151129

    He seems to think that the breakdown of institutions, intended to protect the weak from the strong, have removed the conditions that would contain a potential demagogue. And New Zealanders should not be too complacent either – we too have the breakdown of institutional restraints, a leader that laughs such matters off, and an increasing number of people yearning for relief from hardship, anxiety and exclusion. People generally driving on the recommended side of the road, and frozen peas sitting tidily in supermarket freezers are not a reliable indication that all is well.

    • RedLogix 3.1

      Yes. That expresses the argument. This is less about left and right than it is about the failure of politics altogether.

    • Ad 3.2

      It’s just too early to start calling Mussolini on this.
      The reach for unlikely comparisons is getting stranger.

      A weekend ago the left were fully united on the streets.
      When was the last time you saw a right wing march in the streets?
      The right can hardly fill a small hall in Te Atatu with young darlings rattling their pearls at the Lovely Man.

      • Olwyn 3.2.1

        A weekend ago the left were fully united on the streets.

        And a few days ago, someone was made minister for climate change who declares this to be a subject about which she knows nothing. To my mind, this move was an act of hubris – a “what are you going to do about it then?” sneer, at both the left and those who purport to represent them. Moreover, given that this minister has overseen restrictions on benefits, and has moved onto apply the same formula to housing, it suggests that climate change may well be used as the excuse for further bullying of the vulnerable, again with a “what are you going to do about it?” sneer.

        This shows a political class that feels free to laugh at those they don’t think they need, however united on the street they may be. It sees no need either to bow to institutional restraints, as is shown by the manner in which Judith Collins has been ‘cleared’ of wrongdoing and returned to the ministerial fold. The frustration brought about by such license opens the door to demagogic saviours, while the reduced power of institutions prevents such saviours from being contained. I do not say we are there yet, but I do say we are permitting the preconditions for such an occurrence.

      • I saw the Right Wing Resistance assemble at a park in Christchurch. By the time you add the many who went to the counter protest including myself, and the police contingent, you could just about fill a hall.

      • BM 3.2.3

        This is where you’re failing some what.

        1) Right leaning people don’t march, it’s a waste of time and it’s the height of wankery.

        2) Right leaning people aren’t politically active they save it for elections.

        3) Right leaning people leave it to the politicians and get on with life.

        • Ad 3.2.3.1

          Le Pen and Trump show that to be totally wrong.

          • BM 3.2.3.1.1

            Not in NZ.
            The right here have no interest in protesting.

            • Ad 3.2.3.1.1.1

              That’s because they are in power.

              Or did you miss:
              – “enough’s enough”
              – fart tax protests
              – anti smacking
              – truckie tax protests
              – foreshore and seabed protests
              – massive anti got litigation
              Etc etc

              Do you live under a rock?

              • Ad

                Gov’t not got

              • BM

                “Enough’s enough”?, is that the one where there was a protest against John Banks when he was mayor of Auckland, couple of thousand, but seriously, right leaning people protesting against a right leaning mayor?

                Anti smacking = Mainly religious groups, numbered in the 100’s

                Foreshore and seabed protests – Maori sovereignty issues nothing to do with right leaning people.

                Fart tax protests, truckie tax protests = business interest protests, numbered in the hundreds

                Generally right wing people have very little interest in protest, that’s a left wing past time.

                • Ad

                  “enough is enough” is where there were spectacular parades with guys in black shirts punching the air, organized by Destiny Church.

                  The Anti-Smacking marches were indeed organized by mostly Christian groups – by and large the very definition of right wing in this country.

                  Great you think Maori have no right wing, and there was no right wing element to those marches.

                  All you are doing is trying to write a history of political activism as if the right-leaning are the status quo and the left-leaning are the rabble, something like that sad little book from 40 years ago, ‘The Passionless People”. It’s just ass.

                  • tracey

                    status quo, apathetic, antichange, seeking comfort no matter how much it hurts them or those around them…. and that is the kind of attitude that has us where we are today… but then BM is wanting to wait until climate change results in personal catastrophes before accepting it is real – AND THAT is the right wing supporters mantra, as long as *I* am fine, I am happy with what we have. Unless it’s Labour

            • tracey 3.2.3.1.1.2

              They DO NOT leave it to politicians, they lobby them and pay them so they don’t need to march. You can’t be this blind surely BM?

              • BM

                I’m talking about your average right leaning voter.
                Not wealthy business people or conservative religious fundamentalists.

                As you probably know.
                https://www.transparency.org/cpi2014/results

                • tracey

                  who don’t need t march because others are doing the work for them to ensure they feel comfortable and represented.

                  Your link, for example, stops you from caring that our Governemtn is obstructing OIA’s and has slowly undermined personal liberties through its use of fear (most otably ISIS). So, your posting of the link = QED

        • miravox 3.2.3.2

          The right do a lot more than march when they feel threatened. That authoritarian streak is long and strong.

      • Puddleglum 3.2.4

        Hi Ad,

        In an interesting sense, the arguments you have made about some on the left being too pessimistic about the prospects of ‘centrist leftism’ and its appeal to the ‘mainstream’ themselves imply support for the argument that a kind of disenchanted populist wave is lapping against the established political order.

        That is, If such disenchantment with ‘normal’ politics wasn’t the case then you would not have to be making these arguments.

        These are not moderate times. Even established political parties are incorporating the rhetoric and positioning of – and trying to co-opt – just this frustration with ‘moderate’ business as usual politics. Note the recent rhetoric of Abbott, Cameron, Harper and our own Prime Minister’s strange parliamentary displays over ISIS and deportees from Australia.

        Even the popularity of Little’s ‘cut the crap’ comment is an indication of the same, disenchanted sentiment and of mainstream politicians’ sense that they need to tap that frustration.

        In this environment ‘the centre cannot hold’.

        • Ad 3.2.4.1

          I like that argument, and I disagree, so let me divide that up into bits.

          I would make a clear distinction between “enlightened”, “modernist” and “left”.

          I’m all three, but they have really different roles in how I analyze things.

          1. My tradition is part of the Enlightenment – that is, the rationality of proof and of science should be allowed to run free and banish all superstition wherever it likes, and enables the vast machinery of invention and inventiveness to make our lives so much richer. It’s been going on for a fair few centuries, it’s helped generate the best works of art of the western world and its great industrial surge. My cultural traditions and my life are far and away better for it. And I believe it’s worth defending.

          Enlightenment rationality is anti-extremism.

          2. My professional and aesthetic sensibility is modernist – that is, the development of the state as the primary large-scale identifier and organizer of humanity provides all kinds of distributive and specializing mechanisms that enable this thing called policy to happen.

          Modernism sure has its faults as the last century shows, but the match between Enlightement and Modernity has propelled the developed world into lived sophistication that the world has never known.

          Modernism gives the sinew and propulsive force to Enlightenment principles.

          3. I’m left. That means I want there to be as little as possible inequality, no poverty, and a common wealth guaranteed by the modernist state and enlightenment rationality.

          Which is a long winded way of saying that those three things together stop me believing that extremism is called for now. To me it’s a matter of principle. And when I see thousands of people on the streets protesting peacefully and engaged in all kinds of generative and generous activism, or negotiating treaties, I know others believe as I do.

    • Grindlebottom 3.3

      That’s odd. I got to read page 1 of your article at 3 above Olwyn (very interesting) but the browser wouldn’t open page 2, and now my browser just hangs when I click on your link or on any other article on truthdig.com. Works fine on all other sites. (Could be the NSA I s’pose….)

      • Olwyn 3.3.1

        Hi Grindlebottom: I just tried it again and it still works for me. I am using firefox, I don’t know whether that makes a difference.

        • Grindlebottom 3.3.1.1

          Cheers Olwyn. Yes it does make a difference. I can access it with Firefox but not with Chrome.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.4

      That probably explains why National and FJK are so popular ATM.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    The Bully’s Pulpit
    On the elementary structure of domination

    Sooner or later, every project for human freedom will have to comprehend why we accept societies being ranked and ordered by violence and domination to begin with. And it strikes me that our visceral reaction to weakness and cowardice, our strange reluctance to identify with even the most justifiable forms of fear, might provide a clue.

    Perhaps the problem is that we’re all scared and just don’t want to show it.

    • Ad 4.1

      I’m not.
      Are you?

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        Not particularly although I do have concerns for the future especially if we continue to allow and encourage such bullying as we see:

        But if we are ever going to move toward a genuinely free society, then we’re going to have to recognize how the triangular and mutually constitutive relationship of bully, victim, and audience really works, and then develop ways to combat it.

    • tracey 4.2

      How many women have allegedly gone off to become Jihadi Brides? Less than 12 apparently, but look at the fear it has sowed.

      People who are fearful cling to the status quo and hanker for the imagned old days. That si right wing territory right there. The fear doesn’t have to be real, people just have to think it is,

  5. Ad 5

    If half the nations railing against Trump practised what they preached about Christians who are ruthlessly oppressed in their own countries, I’d have even more sympathy for them. Decreasing actual torture of Christians in Muslim countries is more real than a mere US candidates’ frothing.

    Al Jazeera is going particularly weird on it.

    • Steve Wrathall 5.1

      Exactly. How much non-Muslim immigration do AJ’s gulf paymasters allow? But a US candidate suggests that his country pushes pause on the importation of an ideology that is incompatible with women/gay rights & democracy and the Media Party wigs out.

    • tracey 5.2

      People are hypocrites but hate equally. Whodday thunkit.

  6. greywarshark 6

    Slavoj Zizek turns over the received wisdom about PC’ness. He says that not speaking or seeing what is reality to you and what you think, is a different form of totalatarianism. (The English text is shown, and if the image is distracting, you can listen and work on another link at the same time.)

    He gives an example of the situation where if your boss is very nice to you and friendly the power difference between you becomes more impenetrable.

    He seems to be saying that the taboos that have been accepted have not smothered the differences between people, but they remain hidden widely unnoticed but ready to flourish again.

    Tom Lehrer handles it in National Brotherhood Week. In his own inimitable style. He points out past religious conflicts, the Protestants hated the Catholics and showed vice in versa, the Hindus v the Muslims, and everyone hated the Jews (his religion.)

    Then having a go at the Catholics – the Vatican Rag

    Now you can’t criticise anyone without having the virtual ruler put over your knuckles. And the old problems rise again, like vampires that can never be vanquished without sunlight shining on them.
    edited

    • emergency mike 6.1

      link?

      • greywarshark 6.1.1

        I had some trouble getting the comment up and forgot the vital left bracket in front of each youtube link which stops them becoming instant attention and space grabbers. You will have to look at them and pick them up yourself.

    • Steve Wrathall 6.2

      I didn’t realise he was still alive

  7. joe90 7

    Bloke has a crack.

    Iyad El-Baghdadi
    ‏@iyad_elbaghdadi

    What’s causing the global rise of right wing “populism”? This is from a previous discussion.

    • vto 7.1

      “majoritarianism”

      That is a good line.

      The tyranny of the masses, a-la 1930’s Germany and 2015 USA and France.

    • miravox 7.2

      An interesting synthesis of views

      Number 1 needs a bit more depth – as some commenters there point out, it’s not the ‘intermixing’ that appears to be a problem, it’s when the ‘intermixing’ doesn’t happen or is when there is a fear of migrants rather than there being actual migrants.

      Numbers 4, 5, and 6 are a bit problematic. 4 and 6 may be contradicting each other.

      I’d add a 12 – increased presence of authoritarian christianity in politics, particularly the in US.

  8. millsy 8

    Is Trump really any worse than the other GOP contenders?

  9. acrophobic 9

    The reason the extreme right is gaining traction is simple. Islamic oppression and aggression against the west. This is the inconvenient truth. Since the 1970’s there have been 69 attacks by Islamic terrorists on the UK and 82 on the US. This is in addition to the hundreds of attacks by Islamic terrorists in Europe, the middle east and elsewhere.

    Those who blame western foreign policy for these outrages simply don’t understand Islam. It is the philosophy of wahhabism that drives groups such as daesh, along with the concept of jihad, embedded in their interpretation of the koran and hadith. These philosophies have been an active part of Islam for centuries, long before countries such as the US began their pointless incursions into Afghanistan, Iraq etc.

    Until and unless leaders in the west can name the menace for what it is, and resolve to deal with it, the Trumps and LePens of this world, with all their inherent dangers, will continue to attract support.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      These philosophies have been an active part of Islam for centuries, long before countries such as the US began their pointless incursions into Afghanistan, Iraq etc.

      [citation needed]

      And then you’d also have to prove that they were still part of Islam. Or are you also going to argue that Christianity still burns witches because they did so centuries in the past?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.2

      Only eighty-two?

      This year, there have been more “acts of terror” – mass shootings, on US soil than there have been days of the year. Since June 2004, there have been four hundred and ninety-one US drone strikes.

      I note that your figure of eighty-two includes the “Harlem Mosque Incident”, does it not? I’ll leave it to others to decide whether that’s a tad disingenuous much.

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  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    12 hours ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    12 hours ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    12 hours ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    2 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    4 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    4 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    4 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    4 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    4 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    4 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    5 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    6 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    6 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    6 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    7 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago

  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
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    6 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
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    7 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
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    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
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    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
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    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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    2 weeks ago